What is Molluscum Contagiosum
Molluscum Contagiosum molluscum contagiosum is an infectious disease of the skin that appears mostly in children. Despite its name it does not have any kind of relationship with shellfish or sea, in fact the disease is caused by a virus (from the family of poxviruses) that can be almost anywhere. The virus is transmitted by direct contact, so the spread is very easy, but many people do not develop the disease despite coming into contact with the virus.
Children suffer the Molluscum Contagiosum on the same frequency. I usually do not cause symptoms, just some itching and the appearance of small bumps (pimples) on specific sites in the body. Over time can disappear only, although it is sometimes necessary to remove them. In adults, molluscum contagiosum is considered a sexually transmitted disease, since they usually appear in the genital region after sexual contact with someone who suffer it before.
The most common is Molluscum Contagiosum have a good evolution and disappears by itself only in a few months. It only represents a problem in people who have impaired immune systems , as in the case of patients with AIDS.
When caused by the molluscum contagiosum lesions are multiple or annoy should consider eliminating them. To do this, today there are several treatment options bit aggressive and with good aesthetic results.
Causes of Molluscum ContagiosumMolluscum Contagiosum or molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus that is part of the family of poxviruses, the same family that are the smallpox virus. It is a virus very spread world-wide and that can live in adverse situations. It has preference for temperate and humid places, so it survives in towels and bathing suits.
The mechanisms of Poxvirus infection, and therefore causes of Molluscum Contagiosum lesions, are:
- Direct contact with lesions of molluscum contagiosum: Molluscum Contagiosum lesions are formed by cells from the skin full of viruses that are constantly going abroad. These viruses can be passed to another skin when touched and there new forms lesions.
- Touching objects contaminated by poxviruses: Molluscum Contagiosum virus is a highly resistant virus and can live outside the human body. It is common to find it in towels, underwear, swimwear, toys or almost any other material that has been in contact with infected injuries.
- Swimming pools: swimming pools and public bathrooms are places where the virus is especially concentrated. Currently there is no way of controlling this contamination and absolutely all of the pools have the virus, but no worry especially for that reason.
- Autocontagio: when a person touches Molluscum Contagiosum lesions can extend the virus to other regions of the body when you touch.
Symptoms of Molluscum ContagiosumMolluscum Contagiosum or molluscum contagiosum lesions are very characteristic. They consist of Granites of few millimeters in size, usually smaller than the thickness of a pen. These Granites, which the doctor called papules, are circular and with very sharp edges, the Center has a small depression such as a hole.
As clear of Molluscum Contagiosum symptoms is usual that there are several of these lesions, from 10 to 20, grouped in the same region of the body, even that is distributed following a linear path. They usually have a pink color, as the skin around. When the immune system is attacking the virus to remove it they acquire a more reddish color.
In immunocompromised patients, especially in those infected with HIV, the lesions may be very large and occupy several centimeters in diameter. They are also very numerous, around 200 throughout the body.
In adults, molluscum contagiosum appears in the genital region, pubic area, and is transmitted by direct contact during intercourse.
They are lesions that usually do not cause symptoms, but sometimes are accompanied by itching. This makes the person scratch and can transmit the virus to other people or to other parts of itself. Sometimes scratching can cause small bleeds or infecting the lesions by bacteria that you take advantage of the damage to the skin.
Diagnosis of Molluscum ContagiosumFirst dermatologist will explore the injury for which the patient queries to check if they are Molluscum Contagiosum lesions. If they are Molluscum Contagiosum lesions will ask the patient who undress to underwear, can be sure that there are no other similar lesions in other areas of the body. In adults it also explores the genital region to see if it's a sexually transmitted disease.
Also ask in consultation since when have appeared the injuries, if they have increased in size or number, and if ever they have bleeding. It is important that the dermatologist know if there are similar lesions in other members of the family or if some type of immunodeficiency is suffering.
In almost all cases the diagnosis of Molluscum Contagiosum is simply clinically, i.e. enough with a good physical examination and questioning the patient. In the unlikely event that the doctor dude in the diagnosis it may be cutaneous biopsy, so to study microscopic lesions. The immune system with an blood analysis and a test of HIVshould be studied in adults with numerous or large lesions of Molluscum Contagiosum. It is not necessary to perform any medical test more.
Treatment of Molluscum ContagiosumAs injuries that accompany this viral disease may disappear spontaneously, sometimes the treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum can be simply observe, prevent scratching of lesions and that will spread the virus to other regions or other people. Thus the lesions tend to disappear at 2-4 months in almost all cases. However, many people prefer that the problem is resolved soon and decide to be treated.
There are several options for treatment of molluscum contagiosum, choose one of them depends on many factors: age of the patient, number of lesions and their location, State of health, etc. The most useful techniques to treat Molluscum Contagiosum are:
- Cryotherapy: consists of applying liquid nitrogen at temperatures below 0 ° C. Thus manages to kill cells that are infected and with them the virus that lives inside. It may be a technique somewhat annoying.
- Curettage: lies in removing lesions by a surface scraping with a sharp ring ('spoon'). You can bleed a little and be somewhat annoying at first. It leaves no SCAR and is the method most used to treat Molluscum Contagiosum.
- Laser: when lesions are numerous and in sensitive sites may choose to remove them with laser. The lesions are burned and the virus is destroyed at the same time.
- Ointments and creams: it is a method less fast, but it is the only completely painless. It consists of applying for several weeks a product in lesions directly to destroy the virus slowly.
Prevention of Molluscum ContagiosumThere are no specific measures to prevent Molluscum Contagiosum. Just follow basic hygiene measures that prevent infection by viruses, such as wash your hands several times a day. Yet everyone comes into contact with the virus at some point.
People who have Molluscum Contagiosum lesions must take extra hygiene measures and take into account these measures:
- Avoid scratching or manipulate the lesions. Talcum powders can calm the pungency and, sometimes, it is necessary to cover injuries band-aid or dressing to avoid direct contact.
- Not sports involving direct contact skin to skin, as wrestling or judo. If you go to the gym always a towel should be used to relying on machines. You can go to public swimming pools, ultimately all already have the virus.
- Do not share towels, clothing or grooming tools.
- Intercourse with a condom. Although in the majority of cases of Molluscum Contagiosum in an adult cannot be avoided the contagion with condom.